Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 5th 2017 Contents A14 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 5, 2017
US may focus
on visa approvals
WASHINGTON---With just 16 days before he is sworn in
as the next United States president, Donald Trump's
big immigration war to deport Caribbean and other
immigrants may focus on visas, accord-
ing to media reports here.
In announcing his priorities for the
first 100 days in office, Trump, who
will take the oath of Office on January
20, has vowed to direct the US Department
of Labour to "investigate all abuses of visa
programs that undercut the American worker"
The McClatchyDCnews network reported that
Trump's investigation of the alleged abuse of the
visa programmes was the first promise he made on immi-
gration after the US Presidential Elections in November.
"While it doesn't generate the same headlines as building
a massive wall, the visa issue is almost as explosive," said
McClatchyDC, pointing to critics of offshoring as saying
that a US visa programme that lets in foreign workers is
often the first step to moving American jobs overseas.
The H-1B visa programme issues work permits to as many
as 85,000 foreign workers a year with "highly specialised
knowledge" to fill jobs when qualified Americans can't be
found, said the network.
Sara Blackwell, a lawyer for some of the employees hired by
the Miami-based Caribbean cruise line, Carnival Corp, said
time will tell if Trump follows through with his promises.
Media reports here said that Trump's ascent to the US
presidency has"set off a wave of fear among millions of
immigrants in the United States illegally," who are appre-
hensive that he will "follow through with promises to deport
those here illegally.
"And he will have at his finger trips the identities and legal
status of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who submit-
ted their personal information to President Barack Obama
following his executive orders to block their deportation,"
said McClatchyDCnews, referring to some experts, who
claim that "Trump is politically obligated to deport them."
The network noted that Trump never wavered from the
hard line stance on immigration that he staked out when
he first announced his candidacy for the US presidency.
Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the
Washington-based libertarian Cato Institute, said that
information about the beneficiaries of the children's pro-
gramme, known as Deferred Action forChildhood Arrivals,
or DACA, will soon be in the hands of the Trump admin-
"The DACA beneficiaries have been some of the most
active and vocal advocates for immigration reform. So, po-
litically, he'd have quite an incentive to use that information
to target these people for deportation," he added. CMC
in firing line
The Tourism Development Company has de-
scribed its latest accolade---T&T being listed as
one of the top destinations to visit this year---from
a US fashion and lifestyle magazine as exciting.
In its December 2016 edition of Vogue Magazine,
which has a monthly circulation of 1.2 million, it urged
travellers not to join the "mad rush" to experience
Cuba, but to head to our shores, which has a unique
mix of wild nature and distinct culture which was a
refreshing alternative to the typical Caribbean beach
Acting chief executive officer of TDC
Warren Solomon said he was ecstatic
about the report.
"Katalina Mayorga, the trendset-
ting owner of El Camino Travel, was
so blown away when she visited
Trinidad and Tobago last year that
she immediately developed a trip for
2017. The week-long itinerary mixes
cultural experiences (dancing to soca
music and tasting that national dish,
roti) with jungle adventures and beach
lazing," the magazine stated.
Solomon credited Mayorga, CEO of her Califor-
nia-based company for her testimonial after the TDC
hosted her on a familiarisation trip last November.
He said Mayorga subsequently returned with a
group of travellers who felt our country was a per-
fect vacation option as it offered a variety of outdoor
Solomon said T&T and was looking to partner with
other tour operators and companies to make T&T their
preferred choice of travel.
"We have some doors opening up to us. We are pretty
excited by the news. It was quite ecstatic to see our
country's name on the list. It is certainly a step in the
right direction for our tourism industry."
Faced with budget cuts in 2017 and a downturn in
the economy, Solomon said the TDC has been trying
to become more creative in reaching out to consumers
and those involved in the travel trade industry to get
more visitors here.
In the coming months, Solomon said a lot of activi-
ties TDC started in 2015 and 2016 would be rolled out.
Last year, TDC recorded more than 400,000 vis-
itors in T&T.
CEO of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism
Association Brian Frontin welcomed T&T's inclusion
in the magazine, stating it was a positive start for us
in the New Year.
"Vogue has considerable influence over consumer
behaviours and choices, a key one being travel de-
cisions. We are particularly elated with the writer's
accuracy in positioning T&T as a refreshing alter-
native to the typical Caribbean beach vacation and
focusing readers on some of our nation's strongest
tourism product offerings -- our natural environment
and our culture."
Additionally, Frontin said, the juxtaposition with
Cuba as an emerging, high-potential tourism destina-
tion is a strong reminder of the need to develop our own
destination through the eyes of global travellers as they
seek new, authentic experiences, not just popular ones.
He said one of the most powerful elements of refer-
ence the Vogue article, was the immediate call-to-ac-
tion provided by El Camino Travel who have structured
a seven night and eight day group vacation package
"It is equally important that similar developments
occur throughout the travel trade in the USA and other
main source markets, an undertaking that the private
sector tourism associations will be actively pursuing
in 2017," Frontin said.
John Bell, former director general of the Caribbe-
an Hotels Association said while Trinidad has always
been a tourism success story waiting to happen, "This
(article) will not make it happen." Bell said he hoped
the Government would stop treating tourism as a
One day after the police issued
a public appeal for help in locat-
ing Nickey Lalla, the 21-year-
old woman has reportedly been
This was confirmed by Trinidad
and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)
head of communications Ellen Lew-
is who said Lalla was found and was
The TTPS' Public Affairs Unit
on Tuesday stated that Lalla was
last seen at her Lower Couva home
around 7.30 pm, according to a release from the T&T Police
Service Public Affairs Unit.
Lalla's common-law husband, Ashook Naggassar, went
to the Gran Couva Police Station around 3.40 pm on De-
cember 31 where he reported that his wife was missing.
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